3 Video Campaigns that Failed… HARD

Let's learn from these!

Are you confused?

You’re probably thinking: “Hold on, I thought this was about bad video ads?” You’re right it is. That was not one of them. That was an ad made under similar pretenses as a few of the ones you will find below–the bad ones… the really bad ones.

The difference comes down to awareness and empathizing with multiple audience demographics.

Now, the video above can be described in many ways. In addition to being an ad about the long-lasting and ever-evolving Cadillac brand, it can also be seen as a social political ad.

Yikes, — political. Did you shiver a little? The thing is, ads with a social message can work.

These, below, do not.

1. Live Bolder-Pepsi

Unless you don’t use the internet, (I mean how else would we know anything) you are likely aware of the controversy surrounding the “Live Bolder” Ad by Pepsi, prominently featuring Kendall Jenner.


Let’s not sugarcoat it here. We’re in a pretty tumultuous political era.

Not to say politics and political ads are never easy, but these days that conflict seems to have higher stakes now.


But let’s start with the big offenses (overlooking yet another Kardashian making a headline): the millennial spin, and the protest trend.

Millennials are the hardest generation to pin when it comes to brand loyalty. Think about all the articles about all the industries “millennials are killing”. Somehow Millennials are killing the beer industry, golf, and lunch yes, millennials are somehow killing mid-day meals.

We get it, millennials don’t buy things like previous generations did.

But that doesn’t make it appropriate to target millennials as seeking experiences, through protests as some Pepsi-coma induced trend.


Not to mention how it makes political protests and people’s real views seem like an EDM festival.

The ad failed faster than Kanye ran on stage to steal Taylor Swift’s mic, and for good reason.


This ad showed how a lack of knowing the audience age and demographic could spiral out of control despite all the corporate thumbs up the ad got before it was published and quickly removed.


2.The Bud Light Party–Labels.

Now, this is obviously a direct tie to  America’s political atmosphere. That’s not why it did poorly.

For starters, the ad was aired during the 2017 Super Bowl, and like many modern Super Bowl ads, the ad was prefaced with a teaser online.

Now teasers can be really effective for video marketing, but only if it actually serves as a tease. For the Bud Light Party ad, the teaser seemed too similar to the actual ad itself. You were left watching the full ad thinking “that was it?”.

The next issue was that they couldn’t follow their own act. Bud Light’s “Up For Whatever” Campaign the year earlier was successful, particularly among millennials (need reminding about Millennials killing the beer industry?).

Part of the appeal for Up For Whatever was experience over humor.

That’s not a slight against humor ads, but Bud Light put two comedians, Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer, on the ad. But it killed the ‘no labels’ theme of it all.

The ad lacks so much focus, it’s as if it doesn’t matter that it’s a Bud Light ad. When you compare this ad to the Cadillac ad above… Cadillac made its brand relevant to its message.

The ad had such a low impact that Bud Light ended the campaign before it’s expected due.


3. Quiznos Hamster? Commercial

I’m sorry you had to see that.


Yes, that is a real Quiznos Ad. It had moderate success, as far as memorability but does little for their image, and is known as one of the creepiest ads of all time.

It hit some bullet points for new advertising and was as Quiznos puts it: bold.

But higher-quality, and more meaningful ads create better and more lasting brand awareness. The video left most consumers confused, and may not be directly why Quiznos is on the way out, but it certainly did them no favors.

It’s most disturbing.


I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

PS: We can help be sure that this is NOT your videos future… Click here! 🙂